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The Story of Golden Monkey
Golden Monkey is a veteran in the Chinese Candy category, most known for its product in the Candy sub-category—specifically Chocolate Biscuit Bites and Milk Candy. The company manufactures more than 200 varieties in six snacking sub-categories, including Milk Candy, Fruit Candy, Chocolate, Salty Snacks, Soy Products, and Baking Products.
To ensure this legacy continued with a new generation, the company was exploring new product innovation. But identifying always-changing Chinese consumers’ needs in the Candy category, and responding effectively in a timely fashion, was a challenge for Golden Monkey.
To stay ahead in the market, the manufacturer needed an enterprise-level digital transformation to enable a culture of data-driven decision-making, and they wanted to work with the best—so they partnered with the data and analytics experts at NIQ.
Identifying the right path for growth
NIQ’s detailed market data revealed an important trend— sales in the Gummy category in China were increasing year over year, and more brands were launching items in the category.
Golden monkey learned that traditional Candy companies weren’t the only ones diversifying their portfolios in the Gummy category. Emerging online brands were also entering the category, and creating popular new offerings—”Functional Gummies,” which showed promising growth among young consumers.
Na Guo, Marketing Director, Golden Monkey Food noted, “With the change of the times, the channel ecology and consumer demand, it has been difficult to meet the expectations of consumers in Confectionery with traditional products. We needed to be more front-loaded through the means of data to find out the potential needs of consumers, layout the market in advance, and to become the creator of hot-selling confectionery products, which is also a key opportunity for Golden Monkey Food to be able to continue to move towards the next 30 years.”
Neo Zhu, Senior Brand Manager at Golden Monkey Food said, “As a long-established Candy brand, Golden Monkey Food believes that through product research and innovation and its own supply chain advantages, it will occupy a certain position in the Gummy track.”
Seeing the high demand for Gummies and increasing competition in the category, the next challenge for Golden Monkey was finding the right differentiating feature to help the new product stand out and win.
Product, audience, price, and availability
NielsenIQ data also helped guide Golden Monkey’s product formulation, channel, and pricing strategies.
Neo noted, “Before we conceived the new product, we first thought about the question of how to reinvent the gummy business? With the support of NielsenIQ data, we decided to make a fruit sandwich Gummy for the “modern new woman.”
NielsenIQ data helped identify that “the modern new woman” is focused on health, so Golden Monkey incorporated key features including juice, additional vitamin C, and more to ensure the product appealed to newer generations pursuing healthier lifestyles.
Data also revealed key channel dynamics that helped inform Golden Monkey’s channel strategy.
“We found from NielsenIQ data that the convenience store channel is the core sales contribution channel of Gummies, so our packaging form, specifications, and pricing are more in line with the current situation of the channel format, seizing the core price and specification bands of the format, and driving the overall dynamic sales performance and sales growth of the products,” Neo said.
Over the course of six months, the 30-year-old manufacturer was able to identify a growth opportunity, develop a new product, and enter a new market. And the success of the new Gummy product was clear from the get-go, eventually achieving $1.4 million in sales in the first month after launch.
“This digital collaboration with NielsenIQ for product insights is the first step, and a successful one. In the face of the constant challenges of the future market, it is important to stay ahead of the curve while maintaining a steady pace to stay alive in today’s highly competitive environment.
To be the market leader, the first step is to have a keen insight, I believe that the data support provided by NielsenIQ will play a key role in the future development of Golden Monkey Food, and the two sides will work closely together for a win-win situation,” said Na Guo, Marketing Director, Golden Monkey Food.
“In recent years, local FMCG companies have been increasingly modernizing their management and marketing approaches. With the deepening of our cooperation with Golden Monkey Food, we found that NielsenIQ data can better empower companies in product development, sales management, marketing planning and financial management, and help them breakthrough in growth. We believe that with deeper cooperation with local companies, we can better find the fit with local clients and ultimately achieve win-win results,” said Jack Zheng, Senior Director, NIQ.
Golden Monkey plans to continue using data insights to stay ahead of changing consumer demand trends in the Candy market, lay out its product matrix in advance, and become the creator of best-selling Candy products.
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